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Let's discuss 3 to 5 foot putts


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Feel like you are moving the putter head back with your shoulders and not pulling it away with your hands.  For instance, if you are right handed, your left shoulder moves down which moves the putter off of the ball.  This allows you to keep your hands quieter and you will be less likely to manipulate the face with your hands and wrists. Rock your shoulders and feel like that motion is moving your arms and putter.  Let the putter head come off the ground on the back stroke, this will keep it square to the line.  Learn to hit these short putts with your shoulders and not your hands.

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Figure out if its a speed issue or a read issue. If its speed than find out what stroke length gets your ball to roll a foot past the hole from 3 feet, 4 feet and 5 feet. Mind you that is on a flat straight putt. And write it down somewhere as a point of reference. Has to be the same every single time. The stroke length that you can repeat closing your eyes. That establishes your foundation for speed. Second is read. If you are hitting low every time, you will never make the putt into the hole. Putts other than a straight putt, has some sort of break, if you cant understand that the break is where your ball has to pass in order to even qualify your putt to having a chance of making it in, than you will not improve. It is not where the ball has to get to but the path it needs to take. Good practice that has helped me is picking up a 6 foot jump rope or rope of any kind and challenge yourself to read the break. Place the next to the path you think the ball needs to take to get to the hole. Now roll that putt and see if you are reading breaks correctly. If you master the speed and the read, you can improve your Putting from that distance. It is about repetition but more importantly is repeating the correct thing. 

Edited by llewol007

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I found that practicing with a metronome helps.  Seems that 60-80 beats/min is the suggested range. I found that 75-76 is my pace.  Having a consistent routine has also made a huge impact. I cannot recall who the pro was, but he did a YouTube video on putting routine/practice using the metronome.  The basis of his routine was to look at the hole, look at the ball, look at the hole, look at the ball, pause, backstroke, stroke all on the beat of the metronome.  You can also count the steps as you go.  His sequence may have been a bit different.  Just find a sequence that is comfortable for you.  This has also helped with longer lag putts as well. Takes the thought of mechanics out of the stroke. 

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21 hours ago, Rory4Pres said:

3 to 5 foot putts seem to make or break my rounds and I'm sure the same goes for a lot of you.  Yes, I know I need to practice them more (and I will) but I find myself thinking about tiny details, like how I hit the ball, keeping my head still, etc... For those of you that don't struggle missing 1 or more of these a round, what are your secrets for success on these "I should make" putts?

Just practice the push drill everyday for a week or so!

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20 hours ago, Rory4Pres said:

3 to 5 foot putts seem to make or break my rounds and I'm sure the same goes for a lot of you.  Yes, I know I need to practice them more (and I will) but I find myself thinking about tiny details, like how I hit the ball, keeping my head still, etc... For those of you that don't struggle missing 1 or more of these a round, what are your secrets for success on these "I should make" putts?


What is your level of play?

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18 hours ago, stingerfade said:

Please nobody follow this advice. You can absolutely learn feel and improve putting through practice. 

See I knew there would be at least one person who would say I was wrong.  However @stingerfade you didn't explain your position.  Please enlighten those reading the thread how you could "learn feel".  I'd love a nice debate here.

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2 hours ago, Obee said:


What is your level of play?

Scratch.  Have been playing on aerated greens the past few weeks, which has probably been the culprit for so many short misses.  Once they get back to form here in the next few weeks I'm going to start spending more time practicing putting.  Thought it would be good to get some different perspectives on how to minimize short misses.

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18 minutes ago, Rory4Pres said:

Scratch.  Have been playing on aerated greens the past few weeks, which has probably been the culprit for so many short misses.  Once they get back to form here in the next few weeks I'm going to start spending more time practicing putting.  Thought it would be good to get some different perspectives on how to minimize short misses.

Your a way better golfer than I! Please disregard any of my posts. Lol

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10 minutes ago, Kdaniel72 said:

Your a way better golfer than I! Please disregard any of my posts. Lol

haha, oh stop it.  This topic was to help anyone and everyone who struggles with 3-5 footers, which I'm guessing is most people on this site from time to time.  A good refresher on mental thoughts and practice routines never hurt anyone.

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33 minutes ago, mgoblue83 said:

Look your playing partner in the eye and ask "do you need to see that?"

 

Well your partner sure doesn't, but your fellow competitor or opponent might want to .... 😉

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I was taught at the beginning of my golf journey that 6 ft. putts were like free throws and developed my putting stroke and routine accordingly. So the following two drills and putting on a yard stick were used to teach me a dependable stroke.

 

Can you hit a tee (stuck in the ground) from 2 ft.? If so, does the ball stop dead straight or recoil to one side more-often? If you can't, you need to find a flat spot and work on it 'til you can stop the ball directly in front of the tee or have it bounce straight back towards you.. It sounds too simple, I know, but starting your putt on line with a true roll is the crux of being able to putt.

 

Second drill is set up for a flat, straight, 3 ft. putt. Take 2 tees and make you a gate 12-18 inches from your ball. The gate is the exact width of the ball plus the width of the vertical tee stem (normally 1-16th"). Now roll your 3 footers through the gate and make the putt. It's also preferable to use a line to see exactly how your ball is rolling. This is not an easy thing to do and requires patience and determination on your part. Once you can make 5 in a row you can begin to examine your green reading because your stroke isn't the problem.

 

 

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I tend to be pretty solid from inside 6 feet and I've found that when I do miss short ones it's because I get a little to "handsy" with my stroke. Someone mentioned this thought process earlier, but once I know I have the putter head lined up on the correct line I focus on making the stroke with my shoulders. Basically just a gentle rocking back and forth motion with my shoulders and that takes the hands/wrists out of it.

 

Also, I think it's best to maintain the same sort of speed pattern with all putts long and short. My personal preference with speed is to let the ball sort of fall into the hole. I'm not trying to slam 20 footers into the back of the cup so doing so on a 5 footer doesn't make sense to me either. Keeping the same speed pattern lets you be more consistent with the line and reading break. 

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TC is a way better player than me, but what helped me through a rough stretch recently was to do all the prep and lining up, and then just pretend the ball is already in the hole

 

You know that feeling of relief and relaxation you feel when you made a putt?  Try to feel that feeling before you stroke the putt.  I started to make many more putts, and even if I miss, the misses are much closer, like an inch off rather than 3-4 inches for a 6 footer.  It removes technical thoughts and frees up your mind.

 

Hope it helps someone. I didn't see it online or anything, it's just something I came up with that helped.

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Just want to say "THANKS!", to @Obee for sharing his journey.  My putting stance was the same.  I would have the closed stance with the right foot back just like yours in the picture.  That always "allowed" for me to take a pendulum swing.  A square stance then would quite often result in a puled putt for me.  Dropping that right foot back seemed to "give" my shoulders the room to make the straight-thru swing path.   I switched to center shaft putter several years ago & now have a stance that is parallel to the intended putting line.  The adaptation to the square stance was about a 2 year journey.  

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